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Rules and reality: quantifying the practice of apprenticeship in early modern Europe

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  • Minns, Chris
  • Wallis, Patrick

Abstract

This paper uses recently digitised samples of apprentices and masters in London and Bristol to quantify the practice of apprenticeship in the late 17th century. Apprenticeship appears much more fluid than is traditionally understood. Many apprentices did not complete their terms of indenture; late arrival and early departure from the master’s household was widespread. Other apprentices appear to have been absent temporarily, returning to the master shortly before the end of their indenture. Regression analysis indicates that the patterns of presence and absence are broadly reflective of the resources and outside opportunities available to apprentices.

Suggested Citation

  • Minns, Chris & Wallis, Patrick, 2009. "Rules and reality: quantifying the practice of apprenticeship in early modern Europe," Economic History Working Papers 27865, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:wpaper:27865
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27865/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2008. "Rehabilitating the guilds: a reply," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 61(1), pages 175-182, February.
    2. Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2007. "'Whatever is, is right'? Economic institutions in pre-industrial Europe -super-1," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(4), pages 649-684, November.
    3. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages 112-142, February.
    4. Elbaum, Bernard, 1989. "Why Apprenticeship Persisted in Britain But Not in the United States," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(02), pages 337-349, June.
    5. Wallis, Patrick, 2008. "Apprenticeship and Training in Premodern England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(03), pages 832-861, September.
    6. Sheilagh Ogilvie, 2004. "Guilds, efficiency, and social capital: evidence from German proto-industry," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 57(2), pages 286-333, May.
    7. Grassby,Richard, 1995. "The Business Community of Seventeenth-Century England," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521434508, March.
    8. Hickson, Charles R. & Thompson, Earl A., 1991. "A new theory of guilds and european economic development," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 127-168, April.
    9. Hamilton, Gillian, 2000. "The Decline of Apprenticeship in North America: Evidence from Monetreal," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(03), pages 627-664, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Leunig, Tim & Minns, Chris & Wallis, Patrick, 2011. "Networks in the Premodern Economy: The Market for London Apprenticeships, 1600–1749," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 71(02), pages 413-443, June.
    2. Marc Klemp & Chris Minns & Patrick Wallis & Jacob Weisdorf, 2012. "Family Investment Strategies in Pre-modern Societies: Human Capital, Migration, and Birth Order in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century England," Working Papers 0018, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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